Dental Implant Recovery
Dental implant surgery traditionally requires two minor surgical procedures. The first involves a recovery period of about four to six months. The second requires about two weeks. Matthew A. Turner, D.D.S., P.C., serving Kansas City and Blue Springs, MO, makes patient education a priority. He invites you to learn more about what you can expect during dental implant recovery.
Three Important Stages
Immediately after Surgery
Patients are advised to go home and rest for at least a day or two after the surgery and avoid any strenuous activity for a few days. For the first 24 hours, you can expect some pain, swelling, and bleeding.
Patients can control post-operative pain by taking the medications the doctor has prescribed. The prescription should be filled ahead of time and you should take the first dose soon after surgery so that it can begin to take effect before the anesthetic subsides.
To minimize swelling, you should apply an ice pack to the area as soon as possible, preferably before leaving the surgeon's office. It should be applied for the next 24 hours, but removed every few minutes to prevent the skin from becoming too cold.
If the treatment site is bleeding slightly, it is no cause for alarm. Place cotton gauze or a tea bag over the area and bite down to apply pressure. This will usually stop the bleeding within a few minutes.
While sleeping the first night, you should keep your head elevated with an extra pillow. Soft foods are advised the first few days. Do not use a straw during this time.
It is important that patients who are prescribed antibiotics take the full regimen as prescribed.
The First Week and Beyond
Within a few days, you can expect to slowly return to a normal routine. Avoid overexertion, and continue a soft diet to foster healing.
If you are still experiencing pain, you can continue to take the pain medication. However, you should stop taking it as soon as you feel ready and switch to over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Resume daily oral hygiene procedures as soon as possible, but take care not to disturb the treatment site.
In the weeks and months that follow, you can resume more strenuous activities as directed. If at any point you experience persistent or undue bleeding, swelling, pain, or fever, you should contact the doctor.
Your Second Procedure
In about four to six months, when osseointegration (the fusion of the implant and jawbone) is complete, you will undergo a minor second surgery. Abutments will be connected to the implants in preparation for your restoration. After placement, the gum tissue will need about two weeks to heal. As with the initial surgery, some bleeding and swelling are to be expected. You should eat only mild, soft foods, and take care not to disturb the treatment site when brushing or flossing.
Schedule a Consultation
Dr. Turner wants to help you make an informed decision about receiving implants. This involves knowing what to expect before, during, and after your surgical treatments. To discuss treatment or maintenance in further detail with Dr. Turner, schedule a consultation by calling (816) 229-1433 or send a message using our electronic contact form.